Posted June 27, 2024

Houston-based GulfStar Group to renovate, expand office in iconic downtown tower

By Chandler France, Reporter, Houston Business Journal

A Houston-based middle market banking group plans to renovate and expand its downtown headquarters.

GulfStar Group will complete a full renovation and modernization of its office in TC Energy Center, Managing Director Colt Luedde said. The company will also add about 1,500 square feet of space, bringing its total footprint in the building at 700 Louisiana St. to 10,682 square feet, according to a filing with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

Houston-based Inventure is serving as the firm’s designer, and Endeavor is the construction company. The renovation is expected to cost $900,000 and be completed by December, according to TDLR. TDLR filings are preliminary and often subject to change.

Additionally, GulfStar is working with JLL to sign its new lease at TC Energy Center.

Through the renovation, GulfStar will reconfigure the exterior office wall, move offices from the interior of the space to the exterior to have access to natural light and expand the kitchen in the space, among other improvements, Luedde said. GulfStar has worked out of the space since 1990, when the company was founded. GulfStar’s predecessor —Rotan Mosle, which was acquired by Paine Webber Inc. in 1983 — was also based in the building formerly known as the Bank of America Center.

“We’ve been here for 34 years, so it needs to get a bit of a facelift,” Luedde told the Houston Business Journal.

The added space will allow GulfStar to be more flexible with how it arranges its employees in the office and give the company room to grow its team, Luedde said. GulfStar currently plans to hire two additional managing directors to add to its team of 26 employees.

The new hires will help GulfStar as it transitions from one generation of leadership to a new generation of managing directors over the next three to five years, Luedde said. As some of the older leaders transition out of the business, the company plans to promote internal employees to replace them, along with adding the two additional managing directors.

The vast majority of GulfStar’s business comes from advising middle market companies looking to sell their businesses, but the company also provides services for acquisitions and capital raises, Luedde said. GulfStar had a record-breaking year in 2023 for both revenue and number of deals, with revenue increasing 130% from the previous record. The company expects to have another record-breaking year in 2024, Luedde said.

Luedde said GulfStar is well positioned to take advantage of the mergers and acquisitions market over the next decade, and a number of factors point to a ripe dealmaking environment. There are trillions of dollars of uninvested private equity capital dedicated to middle market buyouts plus trillions more in the balance sheets of S&P 500 companies to be used for deals. There also is a significant number of middle market owners who will soon be looking to transition their businesses to younger owners or sell to third parties.

“If you look at the overall background of the M&A world, particularly in the middle market, there’s a number of ingredients that point to very strong activity over the next decade,” Luedde said. “That’s what we’re capitalizing on.”

GulfStar Group
700 Louisiana Street
Suite 3800
Houston, Texas 77002


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